No school in Rogue Valley has canceled a day off due to shortages – unlike other jurisdictions – but reported problems because of it
For many K-12 students in Rogue Valley, Friday, November 12 was just another school day, unlike many school districts in Oregon and other parts of the country who have had to close their doors that day due to staff and replacements. shortages.
Yet while the Medford School District had regular education the day after Veterans Day, all of its schools were hit by the shortage.
âWe worked as a team and sent administrators and non-school staff across the district to fill them in,â Leah Thompson, communications specialist for the Medford School District, wrote in an email to the Mail Tribune on Monday. “It made it possible for the students to go to school, so that parents and students would not have to bear the burden of an unexpected cancellation.”
The district had 30 office workers, including Superintendent Bret Champion, “in schools and helping out” to conduct school operations, Thompson said.
Thompson shared the district’s strategy after the Mail Tribune learned via social media on Friday that students at North Medford High School were being sent to the auditorium with no teachers or substitutes available.
The school, however, “made great use of time” by sharing several presentations on career / college preparation, an introduction to the Tornado Future Center, and an overview of scholarships – items that are normally covered throughout. the year, according to Thompson.
“We didn’t need to send northern students to the auditorium on Wednesday, and we don’t expect Monday either,” Thompson wrote on Friday.
Although there was speculation online that teachers in North Medford had “planned,” calling on Wednesday to say they would be out on Friday, the district only said individual decisions could be due not only to sick days, but to personal or vacation periods.
Not everyone was happy with the North Medford plan. Lori Goodrich, parent of a student who attends school, wrote on Twitter: âMy 2 boys showed up to LEARN today, dammit!
While Medford experienced some trouble with substitute teachers on Nov. 12, other districts in Oregon and its northern neighbor, Washington, have canceled instruction outright.
Oregon Public Broadcasting reported that public schools in Beaverton, Salem-Keizer, Corvallis, McMinnville, Hillsboro, Coquille and Greater Albany were among districts in Beaver State that did not hold classes on the Friday following Children’s Day. Veterans. The reasons for the decisions of these districts ranged from the need for teachers to prepare for future teaching to simply “high levels of fatigue,” according to the report.
Marc Siegel, director of communications for the Oregon Department of Education, told the Mail Tribune of the Nov. 12 closings: âSchool districts are required to adhere to a certain number of teaching hours during the school year. ‘a school year, but the Ministry of Education does not determine the days when they must go to school.
Elsewhere, the Seattle Public School District did not announce any schools on Nov. 12, which officials admitted was a change to the educational schedule.
“We are aware that an unusually large number of SPS employees took time off on Friday, November 12, and that we do not have the adequate staff to open schools that provide the environment necessary for student safety and effective learning. high quality, âthe district said in a statement. . âThe number of requests for time off on a Friday after a federal holiday is indicative of the fatigue our staff and students are experiencing these months. [in returning] In the classroom. The four-day weekend can offer physical, mental and emotional restoration.
Patrick Lee, superintendent of the Rogue River School District, told the Mail Tribune that his district has a day off on November 12, but parent-teacher conferences are scheduled long before that day.
He admitted, however, that “staffing is a challenge right now”, referring to shortages of classified staff and lack of substitute teachers.
âWe have had difficulty finding replacements when a teacher is absent. As a result, teachers need to cover each other up, âLee wrote. “In doing so, they have less time to [prepare] for lessons and quality work. The stress of all this weighs heavily on many teachers and other school staff.
But the Rogue River situation did not lead to what North Medford saw on Friday, he added.
Several other district calendars, including Ashland, Medford, Phoenix-Talent and Eagle Point, indicated normal instruction days for students on November 12.
Sam Bogdanove, superintendent of schools in Ashland, said “we have issues with subscribers on any given day, but we didn’t have a greater than normal need for subscribers that Friday.”
He added: “I am grateful to the teachers and staff for their dedication and commitment to children.”
Dean MacInnis, communications supervisor, expressed similar thoughts in an email to the Mail Tribune on Monday.
âIt is important to offer in-person learning as many days as possible to benefit the education of our students,â MacInnis wrote. âThe reason we were able to do this is because of the dedication of our staff and the availability of sufficient staff. “
Contact reporter Kevin Opsahl at 541-776-4476 or [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @KevJourno.